What to do if you are Losing Organic Traffic

SEO Tip #60

Losing organic traffic sucks, especially if your business depends on it to make sales. So when that happens, we need to figure out what is going on and see if we can do anything to recover the traffic. Let’s go over some things that you can do.

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Is your site indexed by Google?

This is the first place to start. If your site is not being indexed, you won’t get any traffic. Go to Google and use the following two search operators to check if your site is indexed or not (without quotes / also remove the spaces I added):

“site:katlinks . io”

If you see a list of pages in the search results, then you are good. But if you get something like “Your search - site:katlinks . io - did not match any documents.” then we have a problem.

“https:// webcache . googleusercontent . com/search?q=cache:https:// katlinks . io”

This will show you a cached version of your website. If, instead, you get “The requested URL /search?q=cache:https://katlinks . io was not found on this server.”, then your site is most likely not indexed.

What to do:

  • Go to the Security & Manual Actions in Google Search Console and see if there are any problems.

  • Check your robots.txt file to make sure Google crawlers are not being blocked. If you use WordPress, go to Settings > Reading and confirm that the “Discourage search engines” option is not checked.

The truth is that full-site deindexing is less common. What we see most often is that individual pages get deindexed by Google, and that causes the loss of traffic.

To check for that, go to Indexing > Pages in Google Search Console and look at the “Why pages aren’t indexed” table. That will show you which pages are not being indexed and give you hints on how to solve the problem.

I made a YouTube video a while back on how to fix page indexing problems. You may want to check that out as well.

Is there an ongoing or recent Google Update?

During Google updates, there are a lot of ranking and traffic fluctuations. If you notice traffic loss during an update period, that may be the cause. There’s really nothing you can do about it except wait until the update has finished rolling out, then give it a couple of weeks for the rankings to stabilize.

After that, if your traffic hasn’t recovered, you may have been impacted by the update. The actions needed to fix this will depend on the details of the specific update. Read up on the suggestions of industry experts (make sure they are really experts) to see what you can do to recover your traffic.

Find out which pages are losing traffic

Use Google Search Console or your analytics tool to determine which pages have lost the most traffic recently. Once you have a list of those pages, check the basics:

  • Have the meta tags, especially your page title and H1, changed?

  • Was the content removed or updated recently in a way that may have negatively impacted rankings?

  • Do an on-page audit to make sure there are not any technical issues with the pages.

  • Run a URL inspection in Google Search Console and see if there are any issues that need to be fixed.

  • Look at search results. Have any new competitors entered the market, and are they possibly taking your traffic? Time for some competitive analysis.

The actions to take will depend on what you find from checking the above tasks.

Of course, there are many more things that could be causing you to lose organic traffic, but these tips will help you get started.

Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with!

~ Roberto

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